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NZ, Don't Make Our Mistake on Software Patents As Such

ComputerWorldUK - Glyn Moody - A couple of months ago, an MEP asked the European Commission an interesting question:

The intellectual property rights associated with ICT standards can apply to patents covering computer programmes granted by the patent offices of some non‐European countries, for instance the USA. The application of these standards on the basis of the FRAND (fair, reasonable and non‐discriminatory) obligation may require the purchase of licences for patents not recognised in EU Member States.

Is it not the case that these standards will act as a sort of first step towards the EU's formal recognition of software patents?

This is something that has worried me too during the increasingly heated discussion around open standards, and whether they should require FRAND or RF licensing. That's because FRAND implicitly accepts the validity of patents as applied to software - otherwise there would be no need to get a "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" licence.

Here's what the European Commission replied: